Bees balling queen in observation hive

Discussion in 'Bees' started by BjornBee, Oct 7, 2011.

  1. BjornBee

    BjornBee New Member

    Messages:
    1,696
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I know the picture is not great. But in the middle is a queen being balled. Not in attempts to kill her, but in attempts to protect her.

    I had shaken out another observation hive in front of this observation hive earlier in the day. The O.B. that was shaken out, was from another location. So the bees only really knew nothing more than the same type entrance, and went into this O.B. hive. A short time later, the queen was being protected by her own bees as they knew foreign bees were in the hive. It was amazing how tight the balling protective cluster was. They would let no outside bee near her.

    Surprisingly, very few bees actually fought. After about 24 hours, the balling stopped, and the queen went about her business. And the bees are all happy.

    BTW....are there any tricks of taking a picture through glass so you don't get glare and "ghosts"?

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

    Messages:
    8,996
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Now THAT is interesting. I have started doing all my fall combines by shaking them out, but I never realized why it worked so well. Now it makes sense why I have never lost a queen by doing it.
     

  3. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

    Messages:
    6,487
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I think the 'ghost' looks kind of cool.

    you picture and description makes an excellent point in that 'balling' does not always mean a hive has hostile intentions to the queen. I myself think 'balling' is generally more a protective response than a hostile response relative to the queen. There are certainly lots of books out there that only reflects on 'balling' as a hive's attempt to murder the existing queen.
     
  4. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

    Messages:
    5,829
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Iddee, are you saying that in the fall you don't bother with a newspaper combine, but just shake one hive out in front of another or others? I have a couple of weak hives (with queens) and another couple that are queenless. Newspaper combines would be a pain because of the distance I have to travel to stack em and then reduce em. Simply shaking out the queenless ones in front of the others sure seems simple. I always thought there would be massive fighting and bee mortatlity with shake outs. I have only done those when I have a laying worker situation but if you say there is little harm in a fall shake out that would be something I would try.
    Yard example:
    #1#2 #3#4 #5#6 #7#8 #9#10
    #1 and #2 are the weak ones, #5 and #6 are queenless.

    If I moved #2 and set it where #6 is and then shook out #5 and #6 in front of #1 and #2 respectively do you see a problem?
    New configuration:
    #1 #3#4 #2 #7#8 #9#10
    Any disoriented bees or foragers would have a hive near their old spot to return to.
     
  5. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

    Messages:
    8,996
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    That's the way I do it. When I find a weak one, I kill the queen and shake the frames 4 to 6 feet in front of the other hive or hives. If queenless, I just shake. The bees are looking for a home and the home bees realize it and allow them in. I quit using newspaper about 3 years ago. It saves work and I don't have to go back after the empty equip.